Select-service hotels, such as Courtyard & Hyatt Place are quickly spreading around the world. They’re supposed to be a cheaper alternative to full-service properties like Hyatt Regency, Sheraton, etc. And as the category name suggests, these hotels typically offer just basic services. You definitely will not find room service or concierges’ at these properties, for example. Not that you’d miss these services (most of the time) anyway, especially when traveling for leisure. In Hawaii, this type of hotel is becoming more, and more popular. I’ve personally stayed at two of them in Waikiki and thought a comparison would be helpful. So here goes my Waikiki select-service hotel comparison.
The two properties I’ll be discussing today are the Courtyard by Marriott Waikiki Beach and the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach. Both have “Waikiki Beach” in the name and both are select service hotels. The similarities, however, end there. Let’s break it down.
While both the Hyatt Place and Courtyard are located in Waikiki, they’re both on opposite ends.
The Courtyard is located in central Waikiki, just blocks away from the Royal Hawaiian Center and across the street from the DFS T Galleria. The area is home to the bulk of the shopping and dining action, though it’s decidedly noisier and busier. The Hyatt Place, on the other hand, is located on the far east side of Waikiki. It’s actually adjacent to the Waikiki Beach Marriott. The area is quieter, though you’ll have to walk farther to get to much of the shopping and dining.
Both properties offer valet-only parking. The Courtyard charges $39/night for valet parking in an open lot. The Hyatt Place, on the other hand, charges $30/night for valet parking in a mostly covered lot. Other parking options aren’t really an option in these areas.
The Courtyard and Hyatt Place have nightly rates that are somewhat similar. The Courtyard advertises rates starting at $123/night, though $150-$200/night appears to be the norm. The Hyatt Place, on the other hand, is a bit more pricey with rates ranging from $180-$230/night.
In Waikiki, space is at a premium, which is reflected in the standard rooms of both properties. The Courtyard Waikiki advertises a standard room size of 199 sq/ft. They Hyatt Place gives no square-footage, but the standard rooms do look a little larger.
The above photos aren’t of the same room type. The Hyatt Place room is a deluxe room which measures in at 496 sq/ft. But in terms of decor, both are sleek and contemporary, though the Courtyard wins in my opinion.
In terms of bathrooms, the Hyatt Place wins. In the standard rooms, the Courtyard’s bathrooms are, um, dungeons.
The shower door can be seen on the left of this image, and the shower is so tiny and so dark… I couldn’t get a picture of it.
Again, not the same room type, but the Hyatt Place’s standard rooms do have better layouts than the Courtyard’s bathrooms.
Another huge difference between the two are the a/c units. Most of the rooms at the Hyatt Place appear to use a central system, and select rooms use a split-air system. The Courtyard uses split-air systems exclusively. The type usually isn’t so much a problem, but the systems at the Courtyard blows directly onto the bed. So as the a/c cycles on and off, you’re either freezing or sweating. The Hyatt Place places their split-air systems so that they’re not directly blowing onto the bed.
The Courtyard Waikiki does offer true one-bedroom suites in addition to standard and deluxe rooms. The Hyatt Place simply offers standard and deluxe rooms.
Basic amenities at both properties are fairly standard. Both offer complimentary wifi, in-room iron + ironing board, hair driers, HDTV, mini-fridge, and coffee makers. However, if you have a suite or a deluxe room at the Courtyard, you do get an in-room microwave, too. On the other hand, the Hyatt Place offers toiletries to borrow, for free, or to buy, depending on what exactly it is that you need.
Both properties have on-site laundry and fitness centers. The Hyatt Place has a single pool located on the deck between the two towers.
The pool is really dated and tiny, and seems to be there just so they say they can have one. The Courtyard’s pool, on the other hand, is a little bigger and a bit nicer.
There’s even a hot tub! A salt water pool is available too, but only when the spa isn’t using it. And yes, the Courtyard does have a spa, while the Hyatt Place does not. I’ve actually tried Spa Pure at the Courtyard before, and it’s ok, but not my first choice. It definitely wouldn’t be a deciding factor for me.
Perhaps the biggest differentiator between the two properties is the complimentary breakfast put out by the Hyatt Place.
It’s basically a mini-buffet with a few hot items, a few cold items, juices, teas, and coffee. The Courtyard, on the other hand, offers no complimentary breakfast… Of course, this is a contentious issue among Marriott Rewards members.
While neither of the two properties offers room service, they both do have on-site dining. The types of dining offered, though, couldn’t be more different.
The Courtyard has two on-site dining facilities, the Spada Bar & Restaurant serving breakfast lunch and dinner, and The Market sundries. At the Hyatt Place, you have the above mentioned complimentary breakfast, as well as the 24/7 Gallery.
The Gallery offers ready-to-go items and take-out items 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s also a mini Starbucks Coffee Shop and a bar. A daily happy hour is offered, too. Hotel food isn’t particularly great or a good value in general, but the Hyatt Place’s food wasn’t bad. It was certainly WAY better than The Bistro food I had at the Courtyard on Maui. And since we were staying there for a somewhat emergency situation, having that option there for a quick meal after work was a blessing for us.
Ok, so this might not be the most politically correct thing to say, but they Hyatt Place seems to be frequented by tour groups from a specific country. These guests are fairly noisy and rude, and since there’s so many of them, tends to impact the overall experience. The Courtyard, on the other hand, is largely occupied by visitors from the U.S.
The Courtyard used to be good about recognizing elites. Prior to being acquired by Blackstone and being renovated, I always either got upgraded to a suite or was able to pay a nominal $20/night fee to upgrade. Unfortunately, on our last visit, I wasn’t even offered to upgrade to a better view or deluxe room. My one stay at the Hyatt Place, the property was just about at capacity and an upgrade was still proactively offered to me. Of course, your mileage may vary, as was seen with Mr. & Mrs. J’s stay at the Hyatt Place.
Oh and, one more thing. If you are a kama’aina and considering either of these properties, you’ll need to consider rewards, too. Hyatt does not allow you to earn Gold Passport points on kama’aina rates, Marriott does. So if that’s really important to you, you know which property to choose.
The Hyatt Place and Courtyard Waikiki are both similar, but different properties. While many amenities are the same, a few key ones are different, such as availability of on-site dining, location, and of course, pricing. In my opinion, both aren’t so great. Both have their pros and cons, so ultimately which you choose will be based on how much those pros and cons matter to you. If prices are equal, I’d likely choose the Hyatt Place, simply because the a/c unit. I slept better at the Hyatt Place, despite the increased noise. However, my kama’aina rate at the Hilton Hawaiian Village is about $200/night, so if both properties are priced around there, I’ll definitely stay at the Hilton instead.
And yes, if I stay at another select-service hotel in Waikiki, such as the new Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki Beach Hotel, then I’ll be sure to write a follow-up comparison.
For a more in-depth review of the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach, be sure to check out Mr. & Mrs. J’s writeup.
And fore a more in-depth review of the Courtyard Waikiki Beach, be sure to check out my review.